We all know that training on your own can be hard work. Sometimes giving yourself the motivation to do that last extra rep, or add another set of squats, or even get to the gym at all can sometimes be extremely hard. All it takes is a little doubt and you can convince yourself that you should stop after only 5 minutes on the treadmill. I used to be a sucker for convincing myself it wasn’t really legs day at all. In fact it was time to train chest for the third time that week.
The most effective way of avoiding these silly situations where you talk yourself out of training is to simply have a training partner. A training partner will make you do the extra rep, they will push you to do another set and they will not let you forget to train your legs. I feel the benefits that a training partner gives you is priceless.
The only down side to a training partner is the same as with a wife, husband or partners. Its very hard to find one that fits you. There will always be guys who don’t train as hard as you, train in a different way to you, train selfishly or just suck at being a training partner. However in my experience there are always a few guys, if you look hard, that will give you that awesome workout you are after.
This brings me to my main point. What if you had a group of guys, all with the same training ethos as you, all in the gym to smash themselves to pieces in the squat rack? Well, you will have the best training experience of your life. I don’t care what anyone says, the best personal trainers in the world don’t compare to having 4 or 5 big guys all shouting at you to pick up that weight. All standing there having put themselves though hell on their last set just waiting for you to do the same. The atmosphere in the gym is electric and you know that you have to perform. There isn’t anything like knowing that all of the testosterone, the anger, the energy and the camaraderie in the room is willing you to lift at your best. You will break PB after PB.
Some people will say that training in a group is silly. That you take too long in between sets and the workout is slow. Yes the workout will be slow. However the quality of what you do in that longer workout will be so substantially better that what you would have done in half the time that you forget how long the workout is taking. You are so engrossed in everyone else’s workout and how hard they are working that you forget the time is passing. I could spend hours in the gym on a group deadlift session. Watching my friends lift new PB’s, giving them a slap on the back and waiting for them to psyche me up for my next big lift.
If you don’t believe me just take a look at this video. This is a video from a prison powerlifting meet. Everyone is there for the same thing. Even convicted criminals, who in other circumstances might hate each other, are all supporting one another to do the best they can. Even when competing against each other the support they give is immeasurable. This is what training in a group is like:
So if you have a group of friends who all train at a similar level to yourself, get them all together and have a big session. Don’t worry about number. Pick a really tough, heavy, compound workout and go for it. Lift big and give each other the motivation to smash your own records. I guarantee if you’re going to get a new PB then it will be whilst doing this.